Intermittent fasting has become an increasingly popular lifestyle choice for many people striving to achieve certain health goals and for effective weight loss.
It involves following an eating pattern and not eating at all over a certain amount of time. For example, having an 8-hour eating window during the day and fasting for the other 16 or eating during the week and fasting on the weekends.
While the whole point of an intermittent fasting plan is to avoid consuming calories at certain times, that does not mean that you are unable to consume anything at all during a fasting period. Some beverages will not interfere much, if at all, with your fast and in some cases, they can boost its effectiveness.
Want to know what you can drink while fasting? Keep reading for our list of intermittent fasting-friendly beverages.
While it may not be the most exciting drink out there, both still and sparkling water are perfectly safe to drink during your fasting window. It is naturally calorie-free making it an ideal beverage for consumption during weight loss. It will keep your body hydrated and can help you feel full when you otherwise have a very empty stomach.
If you want to, you can even add a little flavor to your water without breaking your fast. Try infusing it with cucumber, lemon, or even berries to add a little variety. As long as you are adding just a bit of natural flavor and no artificial sweeteners, the extra calorie intake is inconsequential when it comes to your fast.
When it comes to what you can drink while practicing intermittent fasting, unsweetened tea can provide you with multiple options. White tea, green tea, black tea, and many types of herbal tea are all low enough in calories to keep your body in a fasting state, each has its benefits. For example, green tea and white tea both have fat burning effects and can also help increase your metabolism which is often a key factor in successful weight loss.
Not all teas are ideal when intermittent fasting. For example, do not opt for teas with fruit or other carbs in them as the added sugar or artificial sweeteners can interfere with autophagy. If this is not one of your main reasons for intermittent fasting, it is up to you whether or not you want to drink these kinds of teas.
For some of us, a cup of coffee is the only thing that gets us going in the morning! Fortunately, you do not have to avoid drinking coffee while intermittent fasting. Black coffee has a very low calorie count and is, therefore, a safe drink of choice during a fast. It can also work as an appetite suppressant for some people, though studies show that coffee has little effect on one’s food intake.
Coffee also has other benefits. If you are not drinking decaf, the caffeine in coffee can act as an effective anti-inflammatory and even reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes. Studies have shown that it can also reduce your risk of stroke and diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. As long as you stay within the maximum recommended consumption of 400mg of caffeine a day, regular coffee drinking can offer all kinds of benefits!
That being said, caffeinated coffee is certainly not for everyone, especially if you are consuming it on an empty stomach during intermittent fasting. This may make you more sensitive to the effects of caffeine, and you may experience symptoms of irritability, sleep disturbances, acid reflux, and an upset stomach. If you notice any of these, either cut back on your coffee or switch to decaf.
The above options for intermittent fasting drinks are the only ones that will not interfere with your fasting window. There are some other drinks, however; that technically break your fast but will not necessarily prevent you from receiving at least some of the benefits of intermittent fasting. If you like having a little leeway during your fasting window and are interested in receiving additional health benefits, then check out the options below.
If you are unfamiliar with the term, bulletproof coffee is coffee with added sources of healthy fat, such as MCT oil, ghee, butter, or coconut oil. This will add a lot of extra calories to your diet, which will technically break your fast.
Since the calorie count comes from fat instead of protein or carbohydrates, it should not kick you out of ketosis which is often one of the main goals people have when starting a fast or following the keto diet. The healthy fats are also great for your brain and will help keep you feeling full for hours, possibly preventing you from breaking your fast in a less healthy way later on in the day.
Ultimately, it is up to you whether you think a bulletproof coffee is worth it during your fast. If you think the benefits outweigh any potential drawbacks, then go ahead and have at it!
While you do not want to just chug this on its own, drink diluted apple cider vinegar to help boost the effects of your fast. Apple cider vinegar can technically break a fast, as it contains about 22 calories per 100 grams, but if you add just 1-2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to a cup of water you can still enjoy its benefits.
Apple cider vinegar can help with digestion, lower blood glucose, and helps encourage a healthy gut. It can also help suppress your appetite and thirst, which can be especially helpful if you struggle with your intermittent fasting diet plan.
Bone broth contains fats, proteins, and sometimes carbohydrates, so it will also technically break your fast by adding calories. It can also help you feel satiated, reduce inflammation, improve the quality of your sleep, and improve gut health. Like apple cider vinegar, it should also not kick you out of ketosis due to its low-calorie content.
If you want to be very strict while practicing intermittent fasting, then only drink tea, coffee, and water that is free of milk, cream, sugar, or artificial sweeteners to avoid added calories. Drink lemon water, iced coffee, or certain herbal teas to add a little variety. If you do not mind adding a few calories here and there to potentially experience other health benefits, then try bulletproof coffee, apple cider vinegar, and bone broth.